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  1. Default RV road trip through Smokey Mountains

    Hi, we are a couple from Australia planning our first trip to the US in September/October 2013. For part of our time in the States we'd like to hire an RV in Atlanta and drive North, finally arriving in NYC about two weeks later. At this stage we're planning to collect the RV in Atlanta on 5th October. The vehicle we're considering is a 19 ft F250 which we consider compact enough to be able to manouvre yet large enough to live in for 2 weeks (at a pinch!). Yesterday I was speaking with a friend who has toured the States quite a bit. He has warned us off the RV idea stating that we will be very limited with where we can take it. For example we'd like to see some of the Smokey Mountains and Appalachian Trail, but now not sure if a vehicle of this size is going to limit us too much as to what roads we'll be able to take. Any advice on what we should do, and also what route we should be taking to see and experience the most, would be greatly appreciated. My interests lie in American history, Southern culture (we'll be spending 4 nights in NOLA before catching the Amtrac to Atlanta), and of course lovely scenery and friendly people. Based on holidays we've done in Australia utilising caravan parks, we find them to be very friendly places which enable plenty of interaction with other people which we enjoy.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    If you are focusing your trip on more rural and natural areas, an RV should work very well for your trip. There are some roads in Smokey Mountain NP that are off limits to RV's, but they are generally not the major roads through the park and it shouldn't keep you from having a good time. The Blue Ridge Parkway has some tunnels, but they shouldn't be an issue with a small RV.

    BTW, the Appalachian Trail is a hiking trail. I suspect you've been looking at the book/website Roadtrip USA, which is the only place I know of that uses such a term for a roadtrip.

    I wouldn't use the RV after you arrive in New York, assuming you are planning to spend some time exploring the Big Apple, and if you want to explore other cities, like Washington, the RV will be a bit of a challenge, but as long as those areas are not the focus of your trip, you should be fine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default A couple of tips.

    Hi Kate,

    You don't say from which State you are, but if you are a member of RACV, NRMA, RACQ or equivalent, make sure you take your membership with you. It will give you access to free maps and tourist information from the AAA, including an accommodation and campground guide. As well as listing all the facilities, you will have the 'open' dates. You may find that in October some will have already closed for the season.

    19' Should not hinder you for any of the roads you will want to travel. I have just come home from a six month stint living for a large part in a 17' van. It took me on all the highways and byways I desired to travel, across much of North America. As Michael says, they are not necessarily city friendly, but that depends on how experienced you are in parking a 19' vehicle. You will also find that most of the parks you will want to stay in, will be well outside the urban areas.

    Might see you on the road.... though I have not yet thought about planning. lol

    Lifey
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 11-24-2012 at 09:50 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    A 19' RV isn't really any bigger than large vans and pickup trucks that a lot of Americans use for their daily driver vehicles. It may be a bit taller, but that won't be a game breaker.

  5. Default

    Thanks Michael. Your comments are reassuring. There's positives and negatives to every form of travel, but I think we'll go with the RV. I first came across the Appalachian Trail thanks to Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods). We have this idea we'd like to hike a very (VERY) small part of it - probably a day would pull us up! As for Washington, yes I was thinking we'd stay on the outskirts somewhere and commute to wherever we want to go but not sure of practicalities of that yet. We plan to ditch the RV on the outskirts of NYC and probably get a B&B (I've looked at a couple) or hotel for about 4 nights there. Is there anywhere in particular we should definitely try and see between Atlanta and NYC? And is two weeks long enough to mosey around without feeling rushed (I know that's a hard one given everyone is different - we don't mind covering big distances, but would hate to commit to that at the expense of having a decent look at what we're travelling through)? Thanks again for taking the time to reply - really appreciated.

  6. Default

    Hi Lifey, thanks for taking the time to respond. Hubby actually drives a car-carrier for a living, so I don't know why he's stressing (just a little bit), but having towed a caravan around parts of Aus and finding it challenging to get parks etc in town centres I kinda know where he's coming from. Think we'll give it crack!

  7. Default

    Thanks glc :)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
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    There is a RV park convenient to NYC across the river in NJ, but I don't know how they were affected by Superstorm Sandy. Might be worth e-mailing them for information. With the cost of lodging in and near NYC, they may be a viable option. Even if they were flooded out, I'd think they would be rebuilt by the time of your trip. The ferry terminal to Manhattan is within walking distance.

  9. Default

    Now that's a good tip - never considered keeping the RV in NYC. I'll look into that.I read somewhere that theres quite interesting country to be seen between Niagara Falls heading back to NYC. I think the route took in some lakes, maybe in New York, and then into Vermont. Any ideas on this?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    As I said previously, having the RV in New York will not be helpful. Even if the RV park GLC mentioned was not affected by the storm, I would not even consider it in your situation. At its best, it is basically a parking lot in New Jersey that charges $80+ a night. (The reviews of the place have generally been poor too) You'll be much better off returning the RV and looking for a hotel for your time in NYC.

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